It’s Not Clobberin’ Time
I have said it repeatedly – movie games are cursed to be bad. Not just bad, but down right unbearable. Usually they fail to deliver the same heart and imagination that captivated the audience of the film. Even I have to admit that lately with titles like Spider-Man 3, Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World’s End, and, to some degree, Shrek the Third there have been wonderful advancements in lifting the fabled curse against movie games. Unfortunately, for all of those game’s advancements, there is always a movie game that arrives in the midst of good games that raids the senses and delivers a truly nasty taste in player’s mouths for movie games. What makes it worse this time around, however, is the fact that not only is this one based on a film, but it also mangles beloved comic book characters.
Some may say that I am being too harsh on Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, especially those that claim that the game plays out as the movie did. Of course, for those that had not read my review, I, for one, loved the film. To see a pretty good comic book movie trampled on in this game makes me love it that much more. The story is loosely based on the film. There is an impending threat looming on the horizon, and it is up to the Fantastic Four to figure out why there are alterations in the earth’s weather patterns and just who the cosmic anomaly is that seems to bring in tow the end of planets.
This is, however, only the base of the story, and there are some potentially promising moments for the game. For instance, you will face off against some of the FF’s most memorable comic foes like the Super Skrull and Terrex. Unfortunately, there is nothing that separates these villains as far as boss battles. Where it could have been a strategic battle element to switch out the Fantastic Four characters to battle the Super Skrull, it fails to deliver any means of strategy. While this could have greatly helped the game, it is just a straight forward punching game with an occasional special signature move from the characters. Hold on before you say, “Oh, this is on the Wii so it will be great to flap my arms around in some sort of punching motion,” because if that was the case I would say go for it. Unfortunately, this is not the case. With the Wii-mote in hand, I was prepped to start clobberin’ everything in my path as Ben Grimm, but, to my dismay, I quickly discovered that I was to spend nearly all of my gameplay pressing the A button. That is right my friend, a game on the Wii with all its motion sensing capabilities, delivers a button masher in the truest sense.
There are some moves you can perform using the motion technology of the Wii-mote and Nunchuk, like slamming the controls down towards the ground to perform Ben’s ground pounds and slamming them close together to perform Reed’s hand slam. Unfortunately, this falls too short to matter in the grand scheme mainly because in most cases your characters will still perform their basic special moves as long as you are still pressing the glorious A button, even if you do not have enough cosmic energy to perform these special moves. This might sound all good, but it only adds to the follies of the game. You will be able to use the Z and B buttons to deliver the wrath of the cosmic, but you will quickly revert to the monotonous punching.
The graphics are a nice attempt, but the fact that Jessica Alba would not allow them to use her likeness to add to the authentication of the game only begins the detriment to the graphics. Let me revert a little though. Jonny’s constant flame is nice to look at and really adds to the game. However, being on fire all the time will only take you so far before someone puts you out, and the lackluster environments brought the fire extinguishers. The environments are, overall, nice to look at in the beginning, but they start to suck out the life of the game quicker than Alba’s acting in the film. The voice acting is as solid as the original Fantastic Four movie that is only available as a bootleg. At times, the dialogue is so forced that you feel bad for the actors providing the voices of the characters. Again, Alba’s presence is absent once more, but I cannot harp on this due to none of the other Fantastic Four members showed up for the occasion, though I can’t say I blame them too much.
The Rise of the Silver Surfer should have been handled a little better than it was. While the movie was solid for what it was, the game forces us to remember the days of every movie being made into a game. Does anyone else remember the atrocious Fifth Element game? For those that do, then you will know exactly what I’m talking about. In fact, the only saving grace of the game is the fact that you can play as every member of the Fantastic Four at your leisure. However, if you would like to play as the Fantastic Four but in a good game, play Marvel’s Ultimate Alliance.